India must take leadership role to stabilize South Asia: Bangladesh PM Hasina

India, being the largest country in South Asia, should take the leadership role in "stabilizing and strengthening" it both politically and economically, said Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in an event to mark the country’s National Day

Mar 27, 2021
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India, being the largest country in South Asia, should take the leadership role in "stabilizing and strengthening" it both politically and economically, said Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in an event to mark the country’s National Day. 

Her remark came in presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was attending the event as the guest of honor on Friday. Lauding India’s policy of ‘Neighborhood First’, she said the early delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to the region was a “reflection of the policy.” 

The cooperation between the two countries, she said, has achieved new heights in the fields of trade and commerce, power, connectivity, energy, and health sectors in the last few years.  

“The Friendship Bridge over the Feni River was recently inaugurated to increase Bangladesh's connectivity with the northeastern states of India. These states can now use Chattogram seaport and airport and they are doing it. They will also be able to use the port of Mongla,” Hasina was quoted as saying by Dhaka Tribune. 

Hailing the remarkable strides the country has taken in the last three decades, she also recounted its recent transition from the least developed country to a developing country. 

“We want to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2031; in other words, we want to establish ourselves as an upper-middle-income country. We want to build Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous country by 2041,” she said. 

Bangladesh’s foreign policy is very clear: Friendship to all, malice to none. And, this is what Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founder of the nation has envisioned for us, she claimed. 

On the occasion, Hasina also recounted the contribution of India in its independence. Bangladesh will always remember the role India had played in its freedom struggle, Hasina said. 

Stressing on the importance of regional cooperation, she asked countries to “rise above differences” for the welfare of the people. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman believed in regional cooperation and dreamt of economic freedom and political independence, she said. 

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